Current events, goings-on in Delaware and anything else of interest here.
 #772  by cappilot06
Hi All,
New member of the forum but have been reading posts for some time. I have yet to OC, but feel that it can only help as a deterent in protecting myself as well as my family. I grew up shooting, and have always been taught the principles of deterence. Why some people don't get that beats me.
Anyway here is my question. While I am allowed to open carry legally if I'm over 18 with no felany record, what does the law say if, God forbid, I have to defend myself with my weapon. Would I be covered the same as if I was defending my family in my home? This is obviously a last resort, but if the whole point is for defense then it makes no sense to OC if the State is going to come after you if you have to use it.
Does anyone know of a case here in Delaware where someone has OC'd, had to defend themselves, and what the state decided to do (i.e. chalk it up to legitimate self-defense, or trump up a charge to go after the good guy).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and input.
 #776  by stephpd
The laws are pretty clear and the way the police respond is consistent. If you ever use a gun and either discharge the weapon or use it defend yourself the police will come and investigate. If they deem your answers to be honest they may not arrest you. But a police report will be filed. If they have reason to believe your being deceitful you will probably be arrested.

Also have to worry about the DA's office because they can come later, even if the police deem it self defense and prosecute you for shooting someone. The reasons for this can be varied.

Just because you are legal to carry doesn't relieve you of any portion of the justice system or the court of public opinion. Matter of fact they will use the fact that you had a gun against you if you decide to go into the hood and acting like an idiot. Or pulling out a gun in a less then lethal incident.

If you ever decide to get a CCDW in DE you are required to cover all this in class. The handgun safety courses spend much more time on the legal ramifications of carrying and very little time at the range. Out of the 12 hours I spent at class only two hours were spent shooting. The other 10 were in class. Not all of this was the legal part but at least half of the 10 hours was spent on the law and 'what if' scenario's.

With great power come great responsibility.

As far as open carry, several people here have noticed that an armed society is a polite society. When people see a gun on your hip they will behave much better. And the criminal element will look elsewhere for prey. The same can't be said for CCDW. They won't see the gun and you will look just like everyone else. They won't be as polite and criminals might still see you as prey.

As far as an example of using a gun in self defense. About 3 months ago a liquor store owner was closing up and going home. As he was doing this 3 kids decided to rob him and started shooting. He ran back into the store, got a gun, came out and shot at least one of the three as well as discharging a weapon in the city and NO charges were pressed. Legal self defense.

And welcome to the forum. Not sure this answered your question, other will chime in as they see fit.
 #779  by dave_in_delaware
It's difficult to say what would happen in a general circumstance. Too many variables for a clear-cut answer: where was it? was the threat real? Was the other person armed? Etc...

Shooting someone is definitely a last resort. Actually, if you're going to draw your weapon from your holster, you had better be darned SURE that the threat is real.

Overall, I believe that if you seriously felt like your (or your loved one's) life was in immediate danger of bodily harm, shooting someone to stop the threat would be a legitimate case of self defense.

Your attitude and demeanor will certainly be inspected w/ a fine-toothed comb... but overall, it comes down to one of my favorite quotes:

I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

We all choose to carry a firearm because we believe in the right to self-defense, and that we owe it to ourselves and our families to keep us all safe. And we all know how dangerous this State (and world) is becoming, day after day.

I'm not sure if that helped your question, but I'm not the case law guru.

(Wynder? knock're needed here....)
 #788  by cappilot06
Hey guys,
You have certainly help answer my question. I think the last thing anyone would want to do is to have to defend themselves. I also agree that a person should be in dire fear for their life or their families life before that gun is ever drawn. And if you do shoot, you better hope you can truly prove self-defense. I also grew up around guns, learning gun safety from my father. I definitely think taking the course is also a good idea for anyone deciding to OC.
Like I said in my first post, I think carrying is a major deterent and am a huge supporter of it. I look forward to many more conversations with you guys in the future.

Take care,
 #790  by Sprat

in order to get comfortable you should start attending meetings, as everyone carries whether open or concealed, meeting others who share your value's will help you, also its a great time to ask questions as the experience of the combined group vary. it would probably help to bring the wife/girlfriend, so she can meet the group and the other wive's/girlfriends. Check the forum for future meetings and range shoot's

 #791  by Wynder
Carl, to answer your specific question you can refer to the Delaware Firearms Law PDF I wrote up here: ... s_Laws.pdf

You'll want to look at § 464, 465 and 466 which is the "Justification" section - defense of self, other and home respectively.